Steering gear case play

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FundyTides
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Steering gear case play

Post by FundyTides » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:20 am

What is the best way to cure play in the steering gear case to steering column. I have replaced the rivets but that didn't improve things much. I suspect the holes are worn. Are oversize rivets/bolts the answer? By the way it's a 27 if it make a difference.

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Squirrel
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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Squirrel » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:26 am

I just had my 27 column apart, it was a tight fit of that brass housing in the metal tube. Also, the replacement rivets are smaller than the hole, and the originals appear to have been squeezed pretty tightly to fill the hole.

I'd start by asking what process you used to set the rivets?


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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Humblej » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:27 am

Larger rivets.


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FundyTides
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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by FundyTides » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:33 am

Thanks guys. "squirrel", I didn't use anything sophisticated to set the rivets, just a hammer and a steel block. Column was in the car at the time so difficult to do anything else. Maybe I will try larger rivets as suggested by humble j. Any idea of the correct size to order? What's the best way to set them without removing the column from the car?

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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Squirrel » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:47 am

Removing the column from the car isn't too difficult. Removing the control rods can be a bit difficult.

The holes in a spare brass housing I have are about 0.166" or so. Might consider getting rivets that are slightly larger than this, then measuring them and drilling the holes so the new rivets are a close fit.

If the housing is a loose fit in the tube, I don't know how long even well fitting rivets will last. The fit of the whole assembly might need to be better, for it to stay tight. Perhaps another column might be needed.


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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Norman Kling » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:56 am

I put a shim between the brass steering box and the housing. Be sure the housing is not cracked. A crack will sometimes happen especially if it has been loose for a while. Put in a shim then rivet and seems to hold, at least mine has for many years. Works fine on the diamond shape box. Perhaps other help if you have a round box.
Norm

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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:59 am

I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1921 Huckster
1925 Cut down pickup

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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by DanTreace » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:36 am

Sometimes that upper end of the barrel of the column is cracked or split, that will cause a wiggle that can't be fixed without repair to the column.


100_8802 (800x600).jpg

If the rivet holes are enlarged, then bigger diameter rivets are good, but be sure to rivet with good technique. On the bench is best repair. Have used a twist drill to clear the holes in the brass case, the column, and the quadrant to be sure the rivet fits snug. Same dia. drill bit as the rivet.

Have read about using taper pins to do this job, but the Ford factory way IMO lasts.

100_8805.jpg


Have used the air rivet gun, with proper tool to set the rivets, keeps the rivet head looking factory-like.
IMG_4429 (749x387).jpg
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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FundyTides
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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by FundyTides » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:34 pm

Thanks to everyone for all the great info and advice. Looks like the original rivets for the 27 are .155" steel which Big Flats lists as 5/32" so I assume I should get some 3/16" rivets and drill the original holes to fit. I will also remove the column to do the job so the riveting can be done properly. Unless anyone sees any reason not to do it this way, I will proceed in a few days after my eye recovers from cataract removal the other day. What a neat procedure, wonder if it is adaptable to Model T repair?


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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Model T Mark » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:49 pm

Oversized rivets didn’t take care of mine I took the cut off wheel and made one cut in the tube on the side about 3 inches long. Then tapped it together with a body hammer wire welded it and ground it flushed. Then reinstalled the quadrant, case and then reriveted it. Little bit of bodywork and done. Mine was probably an extreme case as the car was very used. Results may vary. Good luck with your project.


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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Allan » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:54 pm

In my youth I went a different route, and it worked a treat! The steering box was way loose in the column tube, and it had been for quite some time. To buy some time until I could do a proper repair, I ground a taper across an all-hard hacksaw blade until it was a tight fit between the case and the tube. That was then driven between the two and broken off when I could drive it no further. I repeated the procedure on the other side. Those wedges never did move, perhaps due to the remnants of the teeth on the blade, and I never had to do any more. Unless you looked really closely, it could not be seen. The beauty of this is that a proper repair could be made any time later, with no damage to work around.

Allan from down under.

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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Duey_C » Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:34 am

There have been folks that use tapered pins to tighten it all back together if all is well. Worked for them.
My '18 is the same way David. Locally sourced rivets are too small...
Wishing for even more info. :)
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated

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Corey Walker
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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Corey Walker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:12 am

Somebody did some dirt dauber welding almost all the way around this one.
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Corey Walker, Brownsboro, Texas


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FundyTides
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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by FundyTides » Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:37 am

Thanks everyone for the information and suggestions. Allan, I tried the hacksaw approach as a temporary? fix and was able to drive in one piece of blade and that seemed to eliminate all the play. No room left for a piece of blade on the other side. Anyway, I'll see how it lasts and if I have any more problems, I'll remove the column and do a more permanent repair. I also re-discovered that I had an accessory type ball cap on the drag link and was able to tighten the adjusting screw on that. It is not an Apco type and just has a small set screw for adjustment with no apparent locking mechanism like the cotter pin on the Apco. Again, I'll see how it works. It almost felt like the screw was "clicking" as I tightened it. Maybe there are detents or something inside the cap to lock it. Next time I go at it, I will remove the cap to investigate and lube it if everything looks ok. Thanks again everyone!

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Re: Steering gear case play

Post by Bill Robinson » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:02 am

Found the crack. Welded and dressed a bit. Tightly installed new rivets. Good as new now.
Steeringcolumn-cracks-x1000.jpg

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